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Events at the Mechanics' Institute

Activities
Friday, September 04, 2015 - 2:00pm

Tour of the California Genealogical Society

Interested in researching your genealogy? Join Mechanics’ Institute Librarian Taryn Edwards for a tour of the California Genealogical Society, one of the premier family history resources in Northern California.

Members only; Free

CinemaLit Films
Friday, September 04, 2015 - 6:00pm

Quills (2000)

September 2015: Movies and the Power of Words

Locked in an asylum, the defiant and devious Marquis de Sade continues to write and provoke.

Members - Free
Public - $10 (suggested donation)

Book Group Meetings - Proust - In Search of Lost Time
Repeats every 2 weeks every Wednesday 2 times .
Wednesday, September 09, 2015 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

The Proust Group

"In Search of Lost Time"
Members $70
Public $100

Activities
Wednesday, September 09, 2015 - 6:00pm

A Tent City No More: A discussion of the 1854 map drawn by R.P. Bridgens

with Jimmie Schein from Schein & Schein Antique Maps and Prints

Prior to the 1906 earthquake and fire the Mechanics’ Institute acquired a large map drawn from the 1853 Survey of San Francisco by noted draftsman Richard P. Bridgens, and is notable for its grand dimensions and wonderful vignettes of the city’s landmarks and architecture. Learn about the early city, its businesses, and other maps from the era in this exciting lecture with local map purveyor and expert Jimmie Schein.

Members & Public Free

Book Group Meetings - World Literature
Wednesday, September 09, 2015 - 6:45pm

Daisy Miller & The Beast in the Jungle

by Henry James


The eponymous novel Daisy Miller portrays the star-crossed courtship of the title character by the sophisticated Winterbourne, a romance which is marred by rumors of Daisy’s scandalous romantic behavior on the continent. The Beast in the Jungle unfolds the peculiar destiny of John Marcher, a man whose sense of foreboding shades every act he takes – and refuses to take.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Classes
Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Morningstar Investment Research Center

Morningstar provides investment research, analysis and recommendations for thousands of mutual funds and stocks. Learn the three different ways of utilizing Morningstar Investment Research Center.

Members Only - Free

Meet the Author(s)
Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 6:00pm

The House of Twenty Thousand Books

Author Sasha Abramsky in conversation with writer David Biale

This is the story of Chimen Abramsky, an extraordinary polymath and bibliophile who amassed a vast collection of socialist literature and Jewish history. For more than fifty years Chimen and his wife, Miriam, hosted epic gatherings in their house of books that brought together many of the age’s greatest thinkers in London.

Members Free
Public $15

CinemaLit Films
Friday, September 11, 2015 - 6:00pm

Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle (1994)

September 2015: Movies and the Power of Words

Dorothy Parker and her fellow literary wits in the Algonquin Round Table quaff cocktails, trade one-liners and grapple with the curse of intellectual superiority.

Members - Free
Public - $10 (suggested donation)

Classes
Saturday, September 12, 2015 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

An Introduction to Genealogy

Instructor: Linda Harms Okazaki from the California Genealogical Society

This two-hour class focuses on basic research methods and terminology. The class covers common (and uncommon) family history records and the resources available, online and in libraries, repositories, and archives. Don’t think you have to be a beginner to benefit from the class!

Member of Mechanics' Institute $30
Member of California Genealogical Society $30
Public $40

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, September 14, 2015 - 12:00pm

The Chinese Gold Murders

by Robert van Gulik

In this, the second book in Robert van Gulik's classic mystery series of ancient China, Judge Dee must look into the murder of his predecessor. His job is complicated by the simultaneous disappearance of his chief clerk and the new bride of a wealthy local shipowner. Meanwhile, a tiger is terrorizing the district, the ghost of the murdered magistrate stalks the tribunal, a prostitute has a secret message for Dee, and the body of a murdered monk is discovered to be in the wrong grave. In the end, the judge, with his deft powers of deduction, uncovers the one cause for all of these seemingly unrelated events.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Good Reads Book Group
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 12:00pm

Boy, Snow, Bird

by Helen Oyeyemi

From the prizewinning author of Mr. Fox, the Snow White fairy tale brilliantly recast as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity. In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty - the opposite of the life she's left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman. A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she'd become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy's daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold. Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Classes
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Ancestry.com Library Edition

Want to research your family history? Now’s your chance with our new subscription to the Ancestry.com database, which provides access to billions of records in census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more. The class will provide tips on searching and how to decipher the records, and plenty of time for hands-on practice.

Members Only - Free

Classes
Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 10:00am to 4:00pm

Tech Office Hours

One-on-one technology consultations

Reserve a half hour with our tech experts to get assistance with your technology questions.

Members Only - Free
Registration required (see description for info)

Classes
Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

ValueLine Resource Center

Attendees will explore the proprietary content of Value Line’s redesigned, dynamic platform. Learn about Value Line’s ranking system for timeliness, safety, and financial strength of specific stocks, and how to access feature articles and analysts' commentaries.

Members Only - Free

Meet the Author(s)
Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 6:00pm

Julia Morgan: Architect of Beauty

An evening with author Mark Wilson

Author Mark Wilson explores the nature-based, environmentally sensitive design philosophy that guided a large portion of Morgan’s work — the First Bay Tradition.

Members Free
Public $15

Book Group Meetings - Forgotten Classics
Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 6:00pm

The Red Badge of Courage

by Stephen Crane

Henry Fleming, a private in the Union Army, runs away from the field of war. Afterwards, the shame he feels at this act of cowardice ignites his desire to receive an injury in combat — a "red badge of courage" — that will redeem him. Stephen Crane's novel about a young soldier's experiences during the American Civil War is well known for its understated naturalism and its realistic depiction of battle.

Members only; Free

Activities
Friday, September 18, 2015 - 2:45pm to 4:00pm

Tour of the James R. Browning Courthouse

Do you love “old” San Francisco architecture? Join librarian Taryn Edwards on this fascinating tour of the James R. Browning Courthouse that houses the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Members only; Free

CinemaLit Films
Friday, September 18, 2015 - 6:00pm

Regarding Susan Sontag (2014)

September 2015: Movies and the Power of Words

Directed by Nancy Kates, this intimate, artful documentary explores the public and private lives of the influential public intellectual.

Members - Free
Public - $10 (suggested donation)

Classes
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

Blogging 101

This class will provide an overview of blogging and some of the different blogging platforms available. It’s designed both for students who don’t know what blogs are and have a curiosity about them, and for students who would like to begin blogging themselves.

Members only; Free

Classes
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

Excel Basics

Whether you are seeking to learn spreadsheet skills or trying to upgrade to a new version of Excel, this class will provide you with the basic tools to start using Excel immediately.

Members only; Free

Book Group Meetings - Proust - In Search of Lost Time
Wednesday, September 09, 2015 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

The Proust Group

"In Search of Lost Time"
Members $70
Public $100

Book Group Meetings - World Literature
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 6:45pm

The Aspern Papers & The Figure in the Carpet

by Henry James


Set in Venice, The Aspern Papers is a novella inspired by the true story of a hoard of letters Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote to Mary Shelley’s stepsister. James depicts the struggle of a publisher to gain control of the cache of a similarly famous author’s papers. The narrator of Figure in the Carpet meets his favorite writer and becomes obsessed with discovering the secret meaning embedded in the author’s works.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Classes
Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

LinkedIn Workshop

Learn the basics of setting up a profile, finding contacts and work opportunities, and using LinkedIn's resources to gain vocational inspiration and job hunting tips.

Members only; Free

Activities
Friday, September 25, 2015 - 6:00pm

Write! Evolve! Write!

Join the writing community of the Mechanics’ Institute at this spirited event where eight Institute authors present their new work and discuss the growth experienced along their writer’s journey. Learn valuable lessons about editing, choosing a book cover image, how to complete a draft while having a life, and how to really read a poem.

Members & Public Free

Meet the Author(s)
Wednesday, September 30, 2015 - 6:00pm

The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett

Author Nathan Ward in conversation with Private Investigator David B. Fechheimer and Hammett Tour Guide Don Herron; Moderated by ZYZZYVA Managing Editor Oscar Villalon

Based on original research across the country, The Lost Detective is the first book to illuminate Hammett’s transformation from real detective to great American detective writer, throwing new light on one of America’s most celebrated and remembered novelists and his world.

Mechanics' Institute Members Free
ZYZZYVA Subscribers Free
Public $15

Classes
Thursday, October 01, 2015 - 10:00am to 11:00am

Investment Information on the Web

Learn how to access investment research, analysis and buy/hold/sell recommendations focused on publicly traded companies.

Members only; Free

Meet the Author(s)
Friday, October 02, 2015 - 12:00pm

Poet Ina Coolbrith’s Petticoat Rule as Librarian

A lecture with historian and author Aleta George

Join us to hear how Ina Coolbrith mentored local luminaries such as Jack London and Isadora Duncan, and how she fought gender discrimination in the workplace.

Members & Public Free

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, October 05, 2015 - 12:00pm

Now You See Me

by S.J. Bolton

Detective constable Lacey Flint stumbles onto a victim whose murder exhibits alarming similarities to Jack the Ripper's first murder. As the case unfolds, details remind the detective of a part of her own past she'd rather keep hidden.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Meet the Author(s)
Monday, October 05, 2015 - 12:30pm

Joy Ride: Show People and Their Shows

Author John Lahr in conversation with ACT Artistic Director Carey Perloff

Over twenty-one years as The New Yorker’s senior drama critic, John Lahr published approximately one million words on theater and theatricals. Now, the Tony award-winning author, critic, and life-long theater-goer offers a collection of some of his most popular and engaging New Yorker pieces, which puts the great plays on Lahr’s watch in the context of the lives of the theatricals who created them.

Members Free
Public $15
More information
No registration required.

First Tuesday TED Talk
Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

1st Tuesday TED Talk Discussion

Catherine Bracy: Why good hackers make good citizens

Come watch this pre-recorded TED video in which Catherine Bracy talks about hacking as a force for good. Discussion to follow.

Members Only - Free
No registration required
More information
No registration required.

Classes
Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - 5:30pm to 6:30pm

WordPress Blog Workshop

Learn how to create a blog site using the WordPress platform. Participants will learn how to publish and organize content on their blogs.

Members only; Free

Activities
Tuesday, October 06, 2015 - 6:00pm

Pacific Peace, Pacific War: Treasure Island and the Golden Gate International Exposition

A lecture with Anne Schnoebelen, Vice President of the Treasure Island Museum Association

The Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939-1940 was San Francisco’s last world’s fair and last grand public celebration prior to America’s entry into World War II. This presentation will focus on the fair’s Pacific theme in its historical context, and explore the fun and beauty of the fair as well as the darker political side.

Members of Mechanics' Institute Free
Members of Treasure Island Museum Association Free
Public $15

Book Group Meetings - First Wednesday Mystery Group
Wednesday, October 07, 2015 - 6:00pm

Full Dark House

by Christopher Fowler

A bomb rips through present-day London, tragically ending the crime-fighting partnership of Arthur Bryant and John May. Desperately searching for clues to the saboteur’s identity, May finds the notes on the duo's very first case, an investigation which might yield clues to the identity of a murderer who, decades later, seems to have returned to get his vengeance.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Meet the Author(s)
Thursday, October 08, 2015 - 6:00pm

Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California

Author Frances Dinkelspiel in conversation with journalist Julia Flynn Siler

In her new book, Frances Dinkelspiel looks beneath the casually elegant veneer of California's wine regions to find the obsession, greed and violence lying in wait.

Mechanics' Institute Members Free
California Historical Society Members Free
Public $15

Book Group Meetings - World Literature
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 - 6:45pm

The Melancholy of Resistance

by László Krasznahorkai

A circus promising to display the stuffed body of the largest whale in the world arrives in an insignificant Hungarian town in the midst of a terminal frost, prompting bizarre rumors. Word spreads that the circus folk have a sinister purpose at hand, and the frightened citizens cling to any manifestation of order they can find -- music, cosmology, fascism. The novel will be discussed over two meetings of the World Literature Book Group.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Classes
Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Salem History Database: An Introduction

In this class, you will discover the scope of materials the library subscribes to, and learn how to search for information on historical topics of interest using the Salem History Database.

Members only; Free

Book Group Meetings - Good Reads Book Group
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 12:00pm

The Secret History of Wonder Woman

by Jill Lepore


Wonder Woman is the most popular female superhero of all time. Like every superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every superhero, she has also has a secret history.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Classes
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

PowerPoint Basics

Whether you are seeking to learn presentation skills or trying to put together a basic set of slides, this class will provide you with the tools to start using PowerPoint immediately.

Members only; Free

Classes
Thursday, October 22, 2015 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

Gale Business Insights: Essentials

Find out how to obtain extensive company news and business/competitor intelligence, SWOT analyses, in-depth industry profiles, as well as market share data, product and brand information, parent/subsidiary relationships, comprehensive financial overviews and performance ratings in this resource whose coverage is international in scope.

Members only; Free

Book Group Meetings - World Literature
Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 6:45pm

The Melancholy of Resistance

by László Krasznahorkai

A circus promising to display the stuffed body of the largest whale in the world arrives in an insignificant Hungarian town in the midst of a terminal frost, prompting bizarre rumors. Word spreads that the circus folk have a sinister purpose at hand, and the frightened citizens cling to any manifestation of order they can find -- music, cosmology, fascism. The novel will be discussed over two meetings of the World Literature Book Group.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - First Wednesday Mystery Group
Wednesday, November 04, 2015 - 6:00pm

The High Window

by Raymond Chandler


Philip Marlowe, P.I., is called to the house of a wealthy widow to recover a missing Brasher Doubloon, a rare and valuable coin. In Chandler's world, people may not be what they seem, and their entanglements always lead to misery!

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - World Literature
Thursday, November 05, 2015 - 6:45pm

The Days of Abandonment

by Elena Ferrante


This is the gripping story of a woman's descent into devastating emptiness after being abandoned by her husband with two young children to care for.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, November 09, 2015 - 12:00pm

The Hound of the Baskervilles

by Arthur Conan Doyle


This novella finds Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson investigating the case of an attempted murder inspired by the legend of a ferocious, diabolical hound of supernatural origin.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Good Reads Book Group
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 12:00pm

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

by Ben Fountain


A satire set in Texas during America's war in Iraq that explores the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - World Literature
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 6:45pm

The Days of Abandonment

by Elena Ferrante


This is the gripping story of a woman's descent into devastating emptiness after being abandoned by her husband with two young children to care for.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - First Wednesday Mystery Group
Wednesday, December 02, 2015 - 6:00pm

Bad Monkey

by Carl Hiassen


Andrew Yancy has a human arm in his freezer. There's a logical explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its owner. Yancy is pretty sure there’s a murder in this somewhere, but he must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters!

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - World Literature
Wednesday, December 09, 2015 - 6:45pm

Memoirs of Hadrian

by Marguerite Yourcenar

Yourcenar reimagines the Emperor Hadrian's arduous boyhood, his triumphs and reversals, and finally, as emperor, his gradual reordering of a war-torn world. This is the first of two meetings discussing this work.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Brown Bag Mystery Readers
Monday, December 14, 2015 - 12:00pm

The Chalk Circle Man

by Fred Vargas


When chalk circles containing increasingly bizarre objects begin to appear on the pavement in neighborhoods around Paris, everyone except Commissaire Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg thinks they are entertaining pranks.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - Good Reads Book Group
Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 12:00pm

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

by Elizabeth Kolbert


This Pulitzer Prizewinning book details the five mass extinctions that have occurred over the last half billion years, and introduces the reader to scientists who are currently monitoring the sixth extinction – projected to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs...but this time around, the cataclysm is us.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.

Book Group Meetings - World Literature
Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - 6:45pm

Memoirs of Hadrian

by Marguerite Yourcenar

Yourcenar reimagines the Emperor Hadrian's arduous boyhood, his triumphs and reversals, and finally, as emperor, his gradual reordering of a war-torn world. This is the second of two meetings discussing this work.

Members Only; Free
More information
No registration required.